Sunday, June 26, 2011

Flashpoint (some spoilers)

I will state right up front that I hadn't expected to even look at Flashpoint, DC's giant summer event. It is less of a crossover than it is a giant multifaceted event made up of a core limited series and a vast number of mini's and one-shots. It evolved out of The Flash, and the Impetus of the plot is the result of a Flash Villain's diabolical plot to really just shit on Barry Allen's life in the most collossally Meta level possible.

I am not a fan of publisher's giant events. I think they are crass and abusive to the consumer, and most of the time there are scads of crossover comics , minis and one shots that contribute almost nothing important to the story. I am not saying event comics don't produce some terriffic comics, because sometimes they do, but in general I would prefer to have a story told without a lot of filler to make me spend more than I really need to.

Flashpoint drew me in with some interesting plot setups. Some fundamental things changed in the world, critical moments in time were altered just enough to produce outcomes drastically different from what we knew to be true. This creates the elseworld to end all elseworlds out of 'reality' In the new configuration Atlantis and Themyscira are at war with each other and the world. Wonder Woman and Aquaman are ruthless warmongers fighting for control of the erth. The Atlanteans have flooded Europe and The Amazons have taken Great Britain. Gorrilla Grodd has Conquered Africa in an awful and brutal campaign against humanity. Amazons, Apes and Atlanteans, the world is in the crapper without ever leaving the A's.
The main series focuses on Barry Allen in this situation, realizing that this is indeed his world, tampered with, rather than an alternate universe or anything, and the mini series' being released at the same time address a lot of what-if's and where are they nows.

Some of these are
What if Bruce Wayne was killed in Crime Alley and Thomas Wyne became Batman
In a world where Superman was held by the government and never became a hero, what becomes of Lois Lane
What if DeathStroke the Terminator was a pirate vying against the Warlord for control of the high seas over a newly flooded Europe.
and tons more, focusing on characters from Abin Sur and Shade the changing man, to Kid Flash and the Flying Graysons.
I think this works really well. Some of the titles are a little heavy on brutality, but especially for people who Love the characters and their histories, etc., it is fun to see who they would be changed based on tweaks in the timeline. I'm not sure where this will stand ultimately as a comics event, but it has made for some fun reading so far. It is pretty neat as a sort of exercise . It is also sort of funny that this comes just prior to the relaunch of the DC line. I think it shows hope for the future. It is possible to change and tweak popular characters and start them in a new environment without losing the things you love about those characters. Good writing is the thing that gives you a lot of leeway when it comes to trying new things. Flashpoint works way better than I had expected, an I look forward to seeing what the fall brings as well.

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